PETRI HAWKINS BYRD
Chairman of the board
Petri Hawkins Byrd, otherwise known as ‘Officer
Byrd’ from the TV court show, Judge Judy, was born Petri Adonis
Byrd in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, New York. (He changed the
‘Adonis’ to his mother’s maiden name, ‘Hawkins’ because “I didn’t want people to
think I made it up.”).
Byrd - as he’s known to friends and fans alike-, graduated from Eastern District
High School, in Brooklyn and attended Hostos Community College, in the Bronx. In
1986, after being transferred from Brooklyn Family Court to Manhattan Family
Court, Byrd met is future TV boss, Judge Judith Sheindlin. In
1989, Byrd received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from John Jay
College. (“Some folks graduated ‘magna cum laude’. I
graduated ‘Thank you, Lordy”’! )
In 1990, Byrd and his family moved to the San Francisco Bay Area., where he
worked for the U.S. Marshal Service.
It was in 1995, while working as a campus supervisor at a local high school that
he received a call from Judge Judy, asking whether he would be interested
reuniting with her to do a TV court show. The rest, as they say, is history.
Judge Judy is currently in its thirteenth season and shows no signs
of slowing down.
“Officer” Byrd, while continuing in the role that has brought
him worldwide recognition, continues to broaden his horizons through work in
theatre, commercial and film. A published and recorded songwriter, the former
Brooklynite is currently working on animation and spoken word projects, for
children and adults. A staunch community activist, Byrd is the chairman of the
national board for the O.K.Program,- an organization designed to
address social issues confronting young African-American males- as well as the
board chairman of Teen Center USA, a faith-based youth program.
When not working on the Judge Judy Show, Byrd is a much sought after emcee and
“inspirational” speaker. (He’s emceed shows for Gerald Albright, Smokey
Robinson, Howard Hewitt, Brian Culbertson, War, Heatwave, Norman Brown, CeCe
Winans and Take 6.)
currently lives in the Sacramento area with his
wife and four children. As to his future plans, Byrd says, “The Bible tells me
that God knows the plans He has for me. So I’m
content to just be His co-pilot!”